Saturday, January 15, 2005

Review 1

Joey Fingaz Presents - Nas: Hood Prophet (Remixed By The Chemical Kick Drums)

01 The Genesis Intro Not Rated
This is the same as the Intro on Illmatic except Nas comes in and says "this is the mixtape ...blah blah." A typical "whatever" intro.

02 Hate Me Now (CK Original Remix) 3 Stars
The CK's uses a dramatic strin-orientated beat. It gets annoying after a bit, and "Hate Me Now" isn't necessarily the best song originally. Bonus points for a scratched chorus instead of Puff Daddy.

03 Got Yourself A Gun (CK Original Remix) feat 50 Cent 2.5 Stars, 4 w/o 50 Cent
The beat uses a piano and a synth mainly, plus some strings. It sounds like a Dr. Dre beat, which I guess I s a good thing. I already spoke on how bad 50 Cent makes this song. I just deleted his verse using Goldwave.

04 Stillmatic (CK Original Remix) 5 Stars
Nas's original freestyle intro to "Stillmatic". The CK's imitates the original beat somewhat, with vocalizing samples and epic horns and reverse crashes and everything. Great remix.

05 One Love (CK Original Remix) 4 Stars
First, let me say that I've already heard MF Doom, One L, LG, NYDA and Da Riffs make remixes of this. This one is another good mix, using a keyboard loop and a good bassline and violins and Bob Marley samples on the hook.

06 Nas Is Like (CK Original Remix) feat Big L 5 Stars
Can they do justice to a DJ Premier original? Fortunately, the CK's make a good beat with horns and even a saxophone. Adding Big L is a good touch.

07 Life's a Bitch (CK Original Remix) feat AZ 4 Stars
This is the mix I've been waiting for, since this acapella is so rare. Using carefree soul samples a guitar, and a nice kick/clap combo, the beat is pretty good. Unfortunately, this is does not touch the original or the Arsenal remix that was on the b-side of the single.

Pray For Me (Smoke Break Interlude) 4 Stars
Wtf is this? And ambiental song that is supposed to be for smoking I guess. They use all kinds of psychedelic sound effects, for example a rainstorm or what sounds like a cut and re-sampled cell phone ringing. Other effects such as a scream and a saxophone and the constant hitting of hi-hats plus a bassline reminiscent of maybe Bob Marley make this a good ambient instrumental cut. Not to be played very many times.

The Cross (CK Original Remix) 4 Stars
Moving on. The beat starts with a chorus and an extremely light guitar, but then goes into a beat with a distorted guitar and that ocassional chorus coming back. I like how they cut and mess with the elecric guitar, sometimes reversing it. It's not all that engaging for a long time, though.

King of New York (CK Original Remix) feat Jay-Z 5 Stars
Another epic beat, sampling an orchestra and even an opera singer. They use Nas's "Ether" as a basis, but then they use Jay-Z's verses from "Takeover" to create a 4-line back and forth from Nas to Jay. Pretty damn cool.

Made You Look (Remix) (CK Original Remix) feat Jadakiss & Ludacris 3 Stars
This is a very experimental old-school-ish beat. Techno inspired, somewhat. Sometimes using distorted or compressed drums, and thick synths. It gets interesting when Ludacris's verse starts, using simple distorted beatboxing and light synth sounds. Somewhat annoying after repeated listening. Especially the vocal samples, although the distorted beatboxing and scratching at the end is really good.

The Bridge '04 (CK Original Remix) feat QB's Finest 4 Stars
Another old-school-ish beat, except more early 90's than late 80's. Using orchestral samples, all the QB rhymers get a shine, sometimes with scratched interludes. Pretty good, although the beat like many others, wears the listener down.

Get Down (CK Original Remix) feat Kool G Rap 3.5 Stars
Using horns and hi-pitched samples, as well as synth trumpets and loud snares, this beat sounds like a better version of an Eminem beat. However, it is curiousley ear-pleasing, and the addition of Kool G. Rap should be noted.

Blaze a Fifty (CK Original Remix) 4 Stars
Using a great bassline and nice strings but an annoying vocal sample, the beat fits Nas's graspy storytelling.

Thief's Theme (CK Original Remix) feat Dead Prez 2.25 Stars
This is an annoying beat. Jazz and funk inspired, but with an annoying horn loop, which is the main beat. The vocal samples are nice though. It's sad that the beat isn't better, because adding Dead Prez is a good move.

16 Leatherface (CK Original Remix) feat Big Pun 5 Stars
Uses an electrtic guitar and aggresive drums over the "Leatherface" acapella with a Nas verse. Really nice.

If I Ruled the World 04 (CK Original Remix) 5 Stars
A beatiful sample is used in the intro and for the hook: scratched samples. The beat has a "oh" vocal sample with a light piano and strings, as well as other sounds. The second verse is actually from "Rule".

Mastermind (CK Original Remix) 3 Stars
Uses a somewhat annoying synth in the hook, but a very listenable guitar sample through the verses. A good if not spectacular traack.

Quick to Back Down (CK Original Remix) feat Bravehearts & Lil Jon 2.5 Stars
This sounds exactly like every other dirty south beat, which is a good thing, somewhat. The beat uses typical 808 drumming and threatening strings and synth flutes. Unfortuneately, after Nas's amazing verse, the Bravehearts are not worth listening.

This is mostly a straight-up remix album, allowing all the creativity up to the producers, the Chemical Kickdrums. They explore every type of beat out there, although following the original a bit too closely sometimes. Overall, though unknowns, the CK's pull through, giving an entretaing, if flawed, mixtape.
Final Score: 4.04166667. Not Kiddin.
Rounded to: 4 Stars out of 5.


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